Boss Blues Driver

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tedro, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. tedro

    tedro Tele-Afflicted

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    ...borrowed blues driver... sounds kinda tinny, besides the tone all the way down...maybe there's mod or something?
     
  2. telefunken

    telefunken Friend of Leo's

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    Got one,didn't like it, so I had the Keeley mod done. Now I love it. More bass less fizz. Now it sounds as good as my OD-3........wait! Just get an OD-3:D
     
  3. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Try a larger cap for C100; .033uf, .047uf, etc. Stock value is .018uf. It's located on the small board that the pots are mounted on.
     
  4. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    There's more mods than you can shake a stick at.

    TTBOMK, many actually target the same parts of the circuit, so whether or not you'll find them to be an improvement can be a bit of a gamble.

    For that reason, the OD-3 suggestion is a good one. Great pedal out of the box IMO, and actually the next evolution of the BD-2.

    The BD-2 takes a very odd "rollercoaster EQ ride" thru its circuit path, with the bass and treble being primarily over-accentuated at points. And, for a so called "blues overdrive," it has enough gain on tap to almost play metal. I think that was "sort of on purpose," as Boss could have a product that might appeal to a very broad range of users, even if there are/were better choices at one's favored gain range.

    There are a lot of mods that simply replace stock components with "higher grade" ones, but IMO that doesn't address any of the issues that someone complains about.

    There are quite a few mods that still sound fuzzy at higher settings, require the tone control to be cut way back or all the way back.

    Some mods get the op amp chip replaced - I suggest you be wary of these. That part of the circuit doesn't produce much gain. It's just a mild bass boost, so it isn't a "source of a problem," IMO.

    There is another "issue" with BD-2 mods, IMO, which is that it tends to require quite a few changes to really get the kinks out and then re-balance everything. Many would consider that it's more labor than it's worth, hence what is typically a sort of conservative effort with many of the mods that get offered. The resistors and diodes that get swapped (if a mod even addresses any of them) are tiny, and can be tricky to deal with. As mentioned, the tone circuit capacitors are mounted on a "daughterboard" that has the tone and level controls attached to it, which means that you have to remove that part (the tone and level controls, literally) to get to them.

    I think that some of the mods are also kept conservative because quite a few users end up going for a sound that is primarily more of a very light break-up boost, or even just a boost. All good and fine, but kinda doesn't get to the true potential of the pedal, IMO.

    Also be wary of mods that mention any changes to D1 or D3, as these are simply "large signal amplitude outliers." Lots of modders confuse them with actual clipping diodes, when they aren't. They only serve to stabilize the signal as it goes on to that mild bass boost stage that I mentioned, which actually comes after the level control. This is a kind of unorthodox setup unless it's something like one of the pedals offered by Tech 21, but they set out to do very different things.

    I personally love the BD-2, because Boss put a lot of great ideas into the circuit design. But IMO, it's really far from optimal unless you just relegate it to being a sort of booster and no more (in stock form). It is actually the next evolutionary step beyond the OD-2, and the OD-3 is kind of the final evolution. So it takes a labor of love to get the BD-2 to really sound good IMO. You may not think that it's worth either the labor (if you elect for a kit) or the cost (if it's an in-house mod).

    Unless you find the OD-3 to be bass heavy because you prefer it at a higher gain level, it simply requires no changes. And the mods to take care of the excessive bass are so simple that they don't require a full blown modification - they are just a nip/tuck IMO.
     
  5. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I've tried a number of the BD-2 mods. Although there are some major differences, a higher value cap for C100 (tone control) is something that all of them have in common. For the last couple of years I've been playing a BD-2 with the Machine Head Pedals Galaxie mod which, IMO, best adresses the pedal's other issues as well as the tone control. I also have an un-modded OD-3.

    Either one would be a good choice fot someone looking for an improved BD-2. The GM sounds tighter and more focused with a little less gain; the OD-3's tone being bigger and rounder but a little on the ragged side as you turn up the drive. I've yet to try the OD-3 mods mentioned by 11 Gauge. I find the stock pedal useful for beefing up certain amps.
     
  6. telecat33511

    telecat33511 Tele-Holic

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    Using a stock BD2 for boost myself
    Its Ok for OD, but is maybe a 2or3-trick-pony in that regard
     
  7. Thighbanez

    Thighbanez Tele-Afflicted

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    i use an MHP Galaxie mod Bd-2. it covers all my bluesy needs .

    Sent from my SGS-II using TDPRI
     
  8. Shidoin

    Shidoin Tele-Holic

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    I also have the MHP Galaxie mod; I didn't care for the stock BD-2, but I dig the modded one
     
  9. andrewsadlon

    andrewsadlon Tele-Meister

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    Just picked one up yesterday. Liked the tone in the store. Didn't like it as much at home, but still alright. Read this post, put a .047 in C100, and am really liking it. Little more crunch than my TS9
     
  10. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Pardon the awkward sentence: for those of use whom a Fender (or similar single coil) > straight into clean amp (in my case a Fender) is a huge part of their guitar tone, yet want to dial in a natural OD breakup, a Blues Driver IMO is a godsend. The dynamics and transparency.

    With my BD-2 with all controls at NOON, I can leave the pedal ON, get the same tone as that of my Strat/Tele/Dano into clean Fender amp (as if no pedal were being used, guitar volume cranked), with my guitar volume up just a little over 1/2 way up. Then I just roll in a little OD or a nice distorted edge with sustain, as I increase the guitar volume. I just think (for me ) the BD-2 works better this way, than as a 'stomp on for lead' pedal. It leaves a good tone alone. For a stronger OD I use another pedal.

    ** I have a Dano TOD V.1 which has a great clean boost, and overdrive sound as well, but not as much gain on tap as a BD-2 (were it needed), and can't touch the BD-2 as far as dynamic cleanup. With the Dano TOD, there is a good warm distortion, and good EQ, but it does not really clean up when turning down- distortion amt stays the same- BD-2 is a winner for me!;)
     
  11. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I tried the Blues driver ,stock and modded ( not MHP mods) and it just sounded raspy and buzzy.
    That's with Tele / Strat single coils into a Fender DR and other Fender amps.

    I like the OD3 stock , I never really turn the gain past halfway, it just sounds smooth and natural and it works well with my Biyang Baby Boom compressor.
     
  12. Knight_Hawkish

    Knight_Hawkish TDPRI Member

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    FWIW, I've been very satisfied with my Keeley modded BD-2. I run in into a Tweedy deluxe with a Celestion blue in it.

    In my "rig", the BD-2 just serves to add a touch of grit to the signal path, not much else. It thickens up one-note leads and, while it does a very good job of doing that, it mainly functions as a clean boost to drive the amp harder. (It is VERY important to EQ the signal at some point here, or else the bass can get out of hand and muddy everything up.)

    I found it to be a superior tone to all the various Tubescreamer mods out there. Possibly personal taste, but I always thought TS-808/TS-9 overdrive sounds to be too mid-range fuzzy.

    -- also, I second the above-mentioned poster, it takes changes from the guitar's volume knob very well, if that's how you want to employ it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
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